Push is on to make safe routes to schools

KATU File Photo.

As students leave David Douglas High School, their school day is over. But a dicey adventure home greets some of them.

"Just the simple process of getting kids to school is a barrier for a lot of people," said Tom Martin, a safe street advocate. "They're crossing two or three lanes of traffic in each direction. There's no lights."

Martin is working with the Street Trust, formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, to help in its campaign to create safer routes to schools for students throughout Oregon.

"You'll see improvements in crosswalks and pedestrian and bike safety education," said Elizabeth Cabral, the Community Relations Director at The Street Trust.

The Street Trust is looking for $16 million a year from the state Legislature. The majority of the money will be used to improve infrastructure around schools.

Advocates say it's not just about safety but also improving the health of children.

"None of these students have any outlet for their excess energy," Martin said.

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